With summer in full swing, it’s about that time of year when you have a cookout seemingly every weekend. These are the times we get to connect with loved ones and catch up on what everyone’s doing—and it’s always over good food.

If you’re looking to switch things up with a new dish, try our Cold Black-Eyed Pea Salad. This salad is full of flavors perfect for the summer. You’ve got a little spice kick from the fresh jalapeños, refreshing cucumber and bell peppers, and a simple vinaigrette that pulls it all together.

Usually, when I think of black-eyed peas, I think of them being stewed for a long time on New Year’s Day. But this recipe completely reinvents them from a winter tradition to a summer staple. Black-eyed peas offer an abundance of beneficial nutrients including fiber, B vitamins, vitamin A, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. This salad is well-rounded and the perfect addition to any meal.

This is the first time anyone at Oldways has brought one of our recipes to video format. It was a rewarding experience to teach myself something different and explore a new creative medium. The process is less intimidating once you start planning your shots and figuring out what works best for you. And I learned that being prepared as much as possible is key. It’s also better to film more shots than you need and edit down than to not have enough!

Another project I took on for Oldways was to identify traditional heritage foods and modify them as needed to fit the curriculum for A Taste of African Heritage. I then began testing the recipes with the ultimate goal of eventually incorporating them into classes. This was definitely an exciting project. From start to finish, I was able to identify and make decisions about why a recipe or ingredient should or should not be included. I would make substitutions, research multiple ways to prepare a dish, and finally figure out how I wanted to create the dish.

The process is simple and I would encourage anyone who is interested in making small, healthful changes to their favorite dishes to do so. One thing I have learned from testing recipes is that it is possible to create our favorite foods with small changes that will not impact the flavors we enjoy the most. Hopefully those recipes make it to a class near you, but in the meantime, get creative! See what heritage dishes you can create yourself and share them with the people you love.

Bonus Recipes:


Pikliz is a pickled slaw common in Haitian cuisine. It is often eaten alongside heartier dishes or accompanying beans and rice. One of its distinguishing characteristics is the use of Scotch Bonnet peppers, which are common in Caribbean cuisine. Almost all pikliz recipes include cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, and onions and use white vinegar for pickling (serves 6).

Jagacida is a beans and rice dish found in Cape Verdean cuisine. Also referred to as jag, the dish is characterized by being heavily seasoned with onion, paprika, and bay leaves. With the kidney beans and paprika, the dish becomes a beautiful red and gold mixture that smells incredible. Jagacida can be eaten as a side dish or with vegetables to create a vegetarian meal (serves 6-8).



Kelsey Lloyd, former Oldways intern

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